The World’s First Ocean Rowing Expedition from Antarctica Brought Six Guinness World Records

The Bulgarian Stefan Ivanov took part in the venture, the main sponsor of which was SiteGround

February 7, 2023, Sofia – The world’s first rowing boat expedition from the Antarctic through the Southern Ocean was successfully completed on January 17, 2023, and brought six Guinness records.

  • First rowing expedition from Antarctic
  • First rowing expedition in the Southern Ocean from south to north
  • First Scotia Sea Rowing Expedition
  • Southernmost starting point of an ocean rowing expedition
  • Fastest rowing expedition in the Southern Ocean
  • Fastest polar rowing expedition

The expedition was carried out under the flag of the renowned “The Explorers Club”, founded in 1904, and under whose flags the first expeditions to the South and North Pole, Everest, the Moon and others were carried out.

The Bulgarian IT company SiteGround, which is one of the world leaders in the hosting industry, supported the venture as the main sponsor.

The leader of the expedition was the Icelander Fian Paul – he is the explorer with the most Guinness records in the world, after the current expedition their number exceeds 40. Fian says: “It was by far the most difficult expedition I have done, logistically and weather wise. I still have pain in my hands.” Bulgaria has its own representative in the expedition – Stefan Ivanov, a banker and adventurer, who in 2020, together with his son Maxim, crossed the Atlantic in a rowing boat. Stefan shares about his new experience in the Antarctic expedition: “This rowing expedition in the Southern Ocean took me the furthest from my comfort zone, but it brought me endless satisfaction. We battled gusty winds, huge waves, biting cold and wetness. On the other hand, we were like in an ice fairy tale – surrounded by icebergs and occasionally visited by whales, penguins, seals and albatrosses. We realized once again how imperative it is that we all get involved in protecting the ecological balance of the planet.”

The other members of the expedition were Jamie Douglas-Hamilton from the UK, Lisa Farthofer from Austria, Mike Matson and Brian Krauskpf from the USA – all experienced ocean and/or competitive rowers and sailors.

One of the main objectives of the expedition is to help declare new protected areas of over 4,000,000 km2 in the Southern Ocean. Considering that more than 90% of the big fish in the oceans have already been gone, the organizers are calling on anyone who wants to give their voice to the special petition: www.change.org/SouthernOcean.

“We believe that success lies only outside the comfort zone, that the courage to follow a dream, even if everyone tells you it’s impossible, makes you a true adventurer and a true entrepreneur. This similarity is at the heart of our support for Stefan and this mission. We are glad that it ended successfully and brought six Guinness Records, which we Bulgarians can be proud of, it is unique that we had our own representative in something so significant. More importantly, however, the mission raises the alarm about the protection of the oceans and the protection of nature in general: a cause that we also protect and find close to our values”, shared Tenko Nikolov, CEO and Ivo Tzenov, founder of SiteGround.